Sunday, June 27, 2021

The Attic's Library: Turner Classic Movie Presents: Summer Movies: 30 Sun Drenched Classics Book Review

The Attic's Library Covering Books on Cinema! 

Title: Summer Movies 

Written By: John Malahy w/foreword by Leonard Maltin 

Summary: Summer Movies is your guide to 30 sun-drenched classics that- though beach parties, road trips, outdoor sports, summer camp, or some intangible mood that brings the heat that manages to keep summer alive year-round. Packed with production details, stories from the set, and more than 150 photos, the book takes an in-depth look at films from the silent era to the present that reflect the full range of how summer has been depicted on screen, both by Hollywood and by international filmmakers. The book highlights 30 movies set in the summertime, from beach comedies to simmering big-city dramas, wild American road trips to lush European travelogues, and includes recommendations for vacations, summer actives, and outside-of-the-box picks for further viewing.  

Turner Classic Movie provided me with a copy of this book for free. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. 

         With summer in full force and what's better than taking a good book to the beach and, of course watching sunbaked films. If you are looking for both Turner Classic Movies has got you covered. 30 Sun Drenched Classics written by John Malahy. From Jaws (1975) to Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954) this colorful books makes for a fun and breezy read. At 208 pages it really is the perfect book to spend a afternoon whether that be cozy at home or yes, even whilst basking on a sunny beach. Malahy is a writer that is clear, concise and, knows how to  boil down a movie to its essentials. But, also does it with such love and reverence that it makes you wanna re-visit these titles watch or first time, whatever the case may be. I also admire the fact that John fuses a lot of great context/information into each review. This is something I like to inject into my own reviews. Its impressive that this book includes over 100 color and black-and-white photos. The images look incredible which is something that sadly isn't always a given with publishers. 

    Not only are the selection and reviews great but Malahy's book also features double-feature recommends as well as "Vacation Inspirations". These are really fun touches and makes the book a little more than just a series of reviews. Furthermore, the book is nicely organized by year (something the OCD in me loves) and the lay out is fantastic! 

On the con side (very minor) I thought that some of the choices were maybe a little on the safe side. For example, it would have been great to see Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) or the pulpy, campy The Horrors of Party Beach (1964) or Baby Doll (1956) which literally and figuratively sizzle with heat. Besides Jaws summer horror flicks are strangely ignored. Friday the 13th (1980) anyone? Though, I will again give John a lot of credit for including the Queer-centric film Call Me by Your Name (2017) or the groundbreaking Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing (1989). Also, I understand that you can only pick thirty films and not everything can make the list. 

Summer Movies is a lotta fun and I truly can say I enjoyed reading it. The authors love for film translates onto the page. Filled with great photos, trivia, and a foreword by Leonard Maltin, it doesn't get much better than this. 

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